Q. I have taken levothyroxine for several years but my insurance keeps changing the brand (from Synthroid to Levothroid to several generics). I have had progressively deteriorating hypothyroid symptoms (weight gain, fatigue, muddled thinking, high cholesterol, low sex drive, constipation, brittle nails and painful joints).
Where can I find the information I need to convince my doctor I need a better approach? I did well on Armour Thyroid years ago when I was first diagnosed, but my current doctor doesn’t like it.
A. Although the FDA has approved many generic levothyroxine products as bioidentical to Synthroid or Levothroid, physicians and patients report that not all generic products seem to be identical to each other.
A person taking generic levothyroxine might need to have the dose re-calibrated every time a different generic was dispensed. Because this requires blood tests and a doctor visit, the insurance company’s savings from the generic could be wiped out.
We are sending you our Guide to Thyroid Hormones, with a discussion of Armour Thyroid as well as the finer points of adjusting the dose of levothyroxine. After shortages that had many patients frantic, the company that makes Armour Thyroid reports that it is once again shipping common dosages.